Women in Business Writing Contest - - Unexpected Transformation: The Dynamic of Limitless Opportunities a Web Site Brings

By Laura Putman

When I read the subject line for this contest, my mind drifted back to the time when a storefront and a telephone number were all a business owner had. That was their only access to current and potential customers. Gaining business was limited to whoever would walk through their doors or call them. They could only offer their goods and services to the area that they were located in.

I remember when I was young, if we needed to locate a service of any sort my mom would make lots of phone calls, set up appointments for a face to face visit with all of them to make an informed choice. She could only hope she chose the best service for her needs. If we wanted to make a purchase, we had to get into our car, drive to a business sometimes through extreme weather conditions, adding to the environmental burden. So many variables had to be taken into consideration, getting a babysitter or bringing the entire family, etc., creating an inconvenient situation not just for my parents, but for the entire family. And when a return had to be made, we had to gather the merchandise and get everyone out to the car and trudge back to the store, stand in line and wait making the process exhausting and time consuming. Websites have unquestionably changed all of that.

In 1993, Tim Berners-Lee changed the face of business by offering the World Wide Web as a free gateway to anyone who wanted to use it. Today, by having a website, business owners not only have the entire world available to offer their goods to, they can create a welcoming, easy and friendly way to help current and potential customers in a variety of ways. Their website can display current and new services all of the time, merchandise offerings, endorsements, etc. Most importantly, websites provide stress-free access to purchase and return anything from the comfort of wherever a customer happens to be.

Familiarity, a level of trust and loyalty between the business owner, their staff and a customer used to be dependent upon face to face contact. A great deal of expense was invested by a business owner in magazine or newspaper ads and television time, if they could afford it, to gain visibility for their business. Now, business owners can combine their efforts by purchasing a website and utilize the beauty, personalization, colors and design created for just for them as an electronic storefront. Doors are open 24/7 and it’s a place that welcomes people in to peruse at their leisure. They can get to know the business owner and what is being offered without the pressure and limitations that only being in a physical location brings. A business owner can use their website to offer anything from free gifts to useable resources to anyone interested, and change them whenever they choose to keep their business fresh and interesting.

A website is an ideal way to connect personally with current and potential clients for several reasons. The first being they get to know who you are, what your background is, whether you’re reliable, stable and if you’re trustworthy. It is a perfect way to find out if you are an ideal match for them because websites by the design and content create a perfect way to draw only the right customers to you, an awesome concept. Rather than doing business the way it was with just anyone and everyone, both the client and business owner have a chance through a well-designed website to create a connection that can lead to a long-term relationship, without ever having to meet in person.

Finally, for people such as myself, by having our own website we can create a home-based business to give many of us the opportunity to live the life of our dreams. We can easily offer services or products, helpful information and personal testimonials, etc., just as larger businesses do. Websites have forever changed people’s lives and the way business is done.

Laura Putman is the winner of the Writing Contest by Women in Business conducted between July 8, 2011 and August 8, 2011. Participants were expected to enter an article about: The Importance of Website to Small Businesses. Laura's was declared the Winner. The prize to be won is a 5 Page Website provided by Dr. Cheryl Cottle through Cottle's Professional Consulting. 

Laura Putman is the CEO of You're the Best. You can find her at:http://www.yourethebest-us.com or through her e-mail at: laura@yourethebest-us.com

© Copyright 2011 by Dr. Cheryl Cottle and Cottle's Professional Consulting. All Rights Reserved!